Zvonareva cruises past Chuang
By Charles Bennett
The Post and Courier
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Vera Zvonareva wasn't quite sure what to expect from Chia-Jung Chuang, her first-round opponent Monday in the Family Circle Cup, but it didn't take her long to find out.
Ninth-seeded Zvonareva learned on the fly and dispatched Chuang 6-2, 6-2 in a one-hour match on stadium court.
The Post and Courier
Vera Zvonareva volleys with Chia-Jung Chuang during their match on the Stadium Court at the Family Circle Cup.
"I did what I had to do today," said Zvonareva. "I've seen her play doubles, but I had never seen her play singles. It was a bit difficult and I didn't know what to expect (Monday). I had to figure it out on the court. I think I did it pretty well. But I think we'll hear about her more in the future. She's a pretty good player."
The 23-year-old Chuang, a qualifier ranked No. 409 in the world, was playing in her first main draw singles match this year.
She led 2-1 in the first set. Then Zvonareva found her rhythm and settled in and overpowered Chuang with her serve and superior ground strokes.
Both players seemed to have a bit of a problem getting their games revved up on a day of overcast skies and cool temperatures.
"It was a little bit cold today," Zvonareva said. "But I felt pretty good. It was my first match this year on clay, so it's really tough to play really good in a first match on clay."
Zvonareva, the highest seed to play on Monday, advances to meet the winner of today's first-round match between Olga Puchkova and Virginia Ruano Pascual.
Ranked 17th in the world, Zvonareva comes into the tournament after reaching the semifinals at Miami two weeks ago before losing to Jelena Jankovic.
Zvonareva withdrew from last week's tournament at Amelia Island because of a hamstring injury, but said she's in better health this week.
"I've played lots of matches, so I've been a little bit tired," said Zvonareva, who is 22-6 this year in singles. "But I felt pretty good today. I had a few days off after Miami and didn't go to Amelia Island because my hamstring was bothering me, but otherwise I feel pretty good right now."
Overall, she's satisfied to have her tournament off to a good start.
"I think I did pretty good today," she said. "I'm really happy that I got through."